Category Archives: NTO (National Tourist Offices)

UN Tourism launches the tourism investment guidelines for Jordan

UN Tourism has presented a new volume of its “Tourism Doing Business: Investment Guidelines”, this time with a focus on the investment potential of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The report was launched at the Conference “Investing in Tourism: Opportunities and Challenges for Sustainable Financing”, part of the 50th UN Tourism Regional Commission for the Middle East. Elaborated in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Jordan, the guide provides a comprehensive overview of the socioeconomic reality of the Kingdom, its tourism performance, and investment opportunities. In front of an audience composed of high-level officials, investors, and experts from across the region, UN Tourism highlighted the appealing value proposal of the country, which counts with globally recognized UNESCO World Heritage sites, a New Wonder of the World, Petra, and unique natural attractions with celebrated therapeutic benefits. H.E. Mr. Makram Queisi, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, affirmed: “One of Jordan’s driving forces of recovery is the active and solid partnership we have with the private sector. The government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has embarked on legislative reforms targeting investment as a whole by introducing a new investment law and also significant reforms in the tourism law. These reforms are the result of direct and continuous dialogue with the private sector. We are taking solid steps into transforming Jordan into a haven for investors, and with the help of our formidable partnership with UN Tourism and the introduction of the UN Tourism investment guide of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan we are on the right track”. Natalia Bayona, UN Tourism Executive Director, who presented the report’s content at the conference, stated: “Jordan …

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Spanish Tourism Authority announces an increase in the number of tourists from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries to reach 430,000 tourists during 2023

Spain tourism authority announced a significant rise in the number of visitors coming from the GCC as they welcomed 430,000, while the number of visitors from Saudi Arabia increased by 92% and from the UAE by 16% compared to the previous year. Spanish tourism authority Turespana also shared the latest recommendations revealed by the Turespana campaign and other tourist places outside of Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia to spend a great summer visiting the country. With summer approaching, high temperatures and longer daylight hours offering more opportunities to explore the city, there’s no better place to spend summer than Spain. The country combines festivals, food and hidden gems around every corner, offering a variety of experiences beyond the traditional tourist points of Madrid, Barcelona and Andalusia. Whether you’re travelling with family, couples or alone, the country offers an amazing mix of diverse adventures. For tourists from the GCC in particular, rugged mountains, desirable coastlines and desert-like areas, as well as two groups of beautiful islands – the Balearic and Canary Islands – offer the perfect getaway for enjoyable cultural holidays. There is more to explore in the country, than many imagine. The Balearic Islands archipelago is located off the east coast of Spain and consists of the islands of Mallorca, Ibiza, Formentera and Menorca. Mallorca features mountain ranges ideal for cycling and hiking, as well as boutique hotels set amidst lush countryside gardens, and the city’s rooftop bars, making you want to explore every corner. Valde Musa, Soller, Pollença , and Puerto Portals is one of the most loved destinations for luxury holiday seekers. Ibiza, or “White Island”, is famous for its nightclubs, sunsets and tranquil Boho atmosphere, but it’s not …

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DCT Abu Dhabi partners with Hilton to further enhance destination offering

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi) announced an agreement with Hilton to further enhance the emirate’s destination offering.  The agreement, which was signed at Arabian Travel Market 2024, will enable guests staying at Hilton hotels in Abu Dhabi this summer to enjoy special benefits and discounts at various iconic landmarks throughout the emirate. This initiative aims to enrich the stay experience for guests while showcasing the diverse cultural and leisure offerings Abu Dhabi has to offer. Additionally, Abu Dhabi’s vibrant events will be integrated into Hilton’s regional promotional activities, amplifying the visibility of the emirate’s cultural and tourism initiatives across a wider international audience base and giving Hilton guests insight into the Emirate’s exciting calendar of events. Abdullah Yousuf, Director of International Operations at DCT Abu Dhabi, said: “Through our collaboration with Hilton, we are bridging the gap between visitors and their next wonderful experience in the Emirate, introducing them to enriching sights, landmarks, and events, and encouraging them to discover more about Abu Dhabi at their own pace. This partnership aligns with the objectives of our Tourism Strategy 2030, contributing to our goal of making Abu Dhabi a leading global destination and achieving sustainable tourism growth.” Guy Hutchinson, President, Middle East and Africa, Hilton, said, “We have a longstanding relationship with DCT Abu Dhabi and are delighted to sign this latest agreement, which will see us partner to amplify Abu Dhabi’s tourism initiatives and support Hilton’s properties in the emirate. Our four hotels in Abu Dhabi are the ideal base for visitors to enjoy all that the emirate has to offer including theme parks, world-class dining and pristine beaches. We look forward to building …

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Oman’s travel and tourism sector to contribute over OMR 3.3BN in 2024 to GDP

The global tourism body is forecasting that the sector will grow its GDP contribution to more than OMR 3.3BN in 2024, 7.6% of the country’s economy, and is projected to employ more than 206,000 people across the country, with one in fourteen people working in the sector. Domestic visitor spending is predicted to continue growing, to reach OMR 1.5BN, beating the 2019 level by just over 8%. Although international visitor spending is forecast to still be behind 2019 levels by OMR 142.3MN, it is expected to continue growing through 2024.  The World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2024 Economic Impact Research (EIR) unveiled a promising future for Oman’s Travel & Tourism sector. With strong government support and strategic initiatives, the sector is poised to not only recover but to reach unprecedented heights this year. According to the global tourism body’s latest research, in 2023 the Travel & Tourism sector’s GDP contribution surged by almost 35%, totalling OMR 2.8BN, and is on track to surpass previous records. The sector witnessed a robust job growth of 15%, now employing 191,500 individuals nationwide. Last year, international visitors injected OMR 1.1BN into the economy, a remarkable 69% increase from 2022, while spending by domestic travellers rebounded to OMR 1.4BN. Oman’s status as a top tourist destination in the Middle East is clearer than ever, thanks to strategic government investment and support. These efforts are not only rejuvenating the economy but are also setting the stage for further increases in international travel spending and overall economic contribution from the sector. Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said; “Oman’s Travel & Tourism sector is on the cusp of an historic revival in 2024. “The Oman Government is a strong support of Travel …

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Visit Maldives showcases luxury tourism at Riyadh Travel Fair 2024

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) participated in the Riyadh Travel Fair (RTF) 2024, organised from 27-29 May 2024. Alongside 17 participants representing 9 companies, MMPRC showcased Maldives as a luxury destination in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). MMPRC’s contribution in the fair was to strengthen the presence of Sunny Side of Life in the KSA market, achieve growth in arrivals, promote segments of tourism, and target affluent travellers in the Middle Eastern luxury segment. Riyadh Travel Fair 2024, convened in the Saudi Capital of Riyadh, is considered as a significant annual event where the leading travel and tourism companies of Saudi Arabia, GCC and other countries gather, with exhibitors representing tourist promotion authorities and tourist companies at the Arab and international levels. RTF is a market for the introduction of tourist products, services, and investments provided by the most significant tourist companies in the world. Corporate travel decision makers, investors, tour operators, travel agents representing VIP clients, and other industry professionals take part in the event every year. At RTF 2024, the Maldives stand offered visitors a glimpse of the Sunny Side of Life. The stand was thoughtfully curated to showcase the diverse segments of the Maldives’ tourism industry, including luxury travel, family holidays, adventure holidays, and cultural experiences. The vibrant and colourful stand featured a range of unique experiences, including a social media contest and a special giveaway. Cultural experiences, such as a Dhivehi Calligraphy Corner, and gastronomy experiences were offered to the visitors, who got a chance to sample Maldivian delicacies. Through the event, Visit Maldives aimed to promote and market the Maldives as the world’s leading destination. It marketed its tourism products, …

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Egypt expects 300k visitors from China by 2024 : CEO Egypt Tourism Authority

Speaking with TravTalkME at ITB China, Amr Elkady CEO Egypt Tourism Authority shared that 2023 was a good year for Egypt as they received 230,000 visitors and they are looking at closing 2024 with 300,000 visitors from China. He reiterated that the Chinese leisure market has grown exponentially over the past few years and increase of air connectivity between the two destinations is one of the main reasons for the increase of travellers from China. Elkady shared that there are many programmes rolled out at present to ensure that there are more visitors inbound to Egypt and among them is a special incentive programme for the aviation sector, where if you fly from any destination to any of the airports in Egypt (apart from Cairo) the airline receives a cash incentive. Both B2B and B2C are kept updated with the latest facilities, programmes and interests to ensure that they make the most of the opportunities which lie ahead. Apart from the leisure travellers Egypt tourism is working on MICE and corporate travel especially from China, Elkady shared,”it is important that both parties meet the right contacts for MICE and corporate travel, as a tourism board we are looking at educating and providing the rightful platforms for the sectors. However, this will take longer but it will be a sustainable process when it comes to the market.”

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Baheej Tourism Development Company unveils first tourist destination in Yanbu City

Baheej Tourism Development Company and the Tamimi-AWN Alliance announced the development of the waterfront area of the Royal Commission at Yanbu. Their first project in Yanbu will cover an area of 32,000 square meters and features three iconic leisure assets including a Beach Escape, a Tourist Activation Center, and a Lifestyle Hotel. Additionally, the project will feature a fourth component to be announced at a later stage. Each of these components will provide rich and comprehensive experiences, as well as sustainable tourism offerings. Visitors will be soon invited to explore the ancient city of Yanbu, rooted in a rich history dating back to the 16th century, boasting a distinct identity defined by its architectural marvels and sand beaches. Baheej envisions Yanbu as an iconic destination showcasing Saudi Arabia’s rich culture, history, and natural wonders, offering one-of-a-kind inspiring experiences to visitors. Mrs. Nora Al Tamimi, CEO of Baheej, said: “We believe that destinations are not just built but discovered, and Baheej’s commitment lies in uncovering Saudi Arabia’s hidden gems. Our strategic collaborations are aimed at curating unparalleled experiences that showcase Saudi Arabia’s rich culture, history, and natural wonders. Yanbu City’s contemporary infrastructure, captivating environment, and attractive coastal landscapes make it an exceptional gateway to the Red Sea Riviera. We anticipate the complete unveiling of our destination and its components by the end of 2027.” Al Tamimi envisions the project unfolding in three phases, prioritizing community engagement, sustainability, and minimal environmental impact. Through meticulous analysis of risks and investment opportunities, Yanbu is set to become a sought-after tourist destination, both locally and internationally. Baheej’s integral role includes integrating local culture and environmental sustainability, elevating Yanbu’s appeal and fostering regional development. This commitment …

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Maldives Wins prestigious 4 Categories at the World Travel Awards Indian Ocean Category held during ATM 2024

Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) is proud to announce that the Maldives has been awarded 4 prestigious categories at the World Travel Awards (Indian Ocean category), at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) 2024 held at Dubai World Trade Center. The categories that the Maldives has won for this year are: Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination 2024 Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2024 Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Destination 2024 Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination 2024 Established in 1993, the World Travel Awards are widely regarded as one of the most respected and popular awards in the world of travel and tourism. Symbolising the most outstanding endorsement in tourism, and the travel industry, the awards aim to recognize and reward achievements in all aspects of travel and tourism on a global scale. The event held earlier today at the World Travel Awards Winners Hub at ATM, honoured distinguished individuals from the Maldives. Mr. Ibrahim Faisal, Minister of Tourism, accepted the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Destination 2024 while Ms. Ayesha Nurain Janah, Chairperson of the MMPRC Board, proudly received the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Honeymoon Destination 2024. Additionally, Ms. Fathmath Thaufeeq, accepted the award for Indian Ocean’s Leading Green Destination 2024 on behalf of Maldives. The Indian Ocean’s Leading Dive Destination 2024 award was received by Mr. Mohamed Khaleel, Advisor to the President on Tourism Development. The significance of these awards highlights the Maldives’ standing as an unparalleled tourist destination, showcases the country’s commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences to visitors from around the world, and reinforces the continued efforts of MMPRC in promoting and developing the nation’s tourism sector. MMPRC is thrilled to announce that since the introduction of the …

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Visit Qatar and Huawei sign MoU to enhance Qatar’s tourism experience

Visit Qatar and Huawei announced a partnership aimed at improving the tourism experience for Chinese visitors and showcasing Qatar as a leading travel destination in the Chinese market. This collaboration leverages the precise targeting capabilities of Huawei’s advertising platform, Petal Ads, to effectively reach and connect with potential travelers, reinforcing Qatar’s position as an attractive destination for Chinese tourists. The MoU was signed by Eng. Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, CEO of Visit Qatar, and Justin Chen, Global Head of Petal Ads, Huawei’s consumer cloud, representing Huawei, during Visit Qatar’s pavilion at Arabian Travel Market 2024. As part of this partnership, Visit Qatar and Huawei will develop an integrated travel ecosystem in Qatar, including the integration of Huawei products such as SkyTone for roaming data, Huawei Wallet for payments, Petal Maps for promotion and attractions, and AI-powered travel aids. In addition, visitors will be provided with advanced technologies supported by interactive and immersive tourism experiences that highlight Qatar’s famous tourist attractions. Leveraging the proven capabilities of Petal Ads, the MoU focuses on efforts to make Qatar a leading travel destination for Chinese tourists through joint marketing initiatives and harnessing Huawei’s vast and diverse media resources. This unique partnership also aims to attract the interest of Chinese travelers and direct their attention to Qatar and choose it as a preferred destination in their upcoming travel plans. Commenting on the collaboration, Eng. Abdulaziz Ali Al Mawlawi, CEO of Visit Qatar, said: “Through our strategic partnership with Huawei, we are taking an important step towards attracting more Chinese tourists and investors to Qatar. We also aim to develop a comprehensive travel ecosystem in Qatar and offer advanced technologies to visitors through interactive and immersive …

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DWTC drives impact with economic output surging to AED 18.3Bn in 2023, up 40% YoY

DWTC’s 2023 Economic Impact Assessment (EIA) Annual Report underscores the company’s sustained contribution to the city’s GDP, especially highlighting the remarkable surge in Total Economic Output of AED 18.28Bn from 76 large-scale Exhibitions, International Association Conventions, and Industry Conferences (of the total 301 exhibitions and events in 2023). Notably, the Gross Value Added (GVA) to Dubai’s GDP by these large-scale events amounted to AED 10.53Bn, representing 58% of the total economic output being retained within the local economy, fostering 69,281 jobs and generating AED 3.36Bn in disposable income. DWTC’s large-scale events boost economic impact with 76 large-scale events (2,000 or more attendees), generated sales of approximately AED 2.33Bn within the MICE sector, resulting in nearly 8 times that value in economic output. This means that for every dirham invested by an organiser or attendee at a DWTC event, it generates eight times in sales value for the broader Dubai economy. The success of DWTC’s own events and exhibitions such as GITEX Global and Gulfood, which generated AED 7.22Bn in economic output and AED 4.15Bn in GVA – a 53% increase over 2022 – reflects DWTC’s unparalleled expertise in delivering world-class events that resonate with global audiences. Against the backdrop of the ambitious Dubai Economic Agenda D33 – aiming to secure the city’s status as one of the top three global destinations for business and travel by 2033, DWTC’s international leadership in the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) sector continues to play a pivotal role in reinforcing Dubai’s position as a powerhouse of economic activity and innovation. The 76 large-scale business events hosted, organised and delivered by DWTC attracted 1.54 million attendees, with 46% being international attendees. In absolute terms, this …

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